References abound with this cover. A band that takes their name from a Neil Young song covers The Afghan Whigs’ song that is a play on the title of a Miles Davis album, Birth of the Cool. Some critics say The Emperors of Wyoming sound like Tom Petty, Tom Waits and Creedence Clearwater Revival while one of their songs, “Brand New Heart of Stone,” is an obvious tribute to The Rolling Stones track with a similar name.
The Emperors of Wyoming are only a studio band, so far, not even getting together at the same time and place to record their eponymous album. What emerged, though, is a solid recording blending influences from the ‘70s, ‘80s, country and classic rock. This is not surprising with Butch Vig behind the drums and other band members that played together 30 years ago as part of the Madison, Wisconsin, music scene.
Among the tracks is “Rebirth of the Cool,” The Afghan Whigs song from Uptown Avondale, a 1992 release. The Emperors of Wyoming version kicks off with a laid back, almost eerie vibe thanks to brushed snare drum, pedal steel and distant, wordless vocals. The original is a little trippier, less restrained and more dynamic. Both versions of the song stand on their own merit. Listen to “Rebirth of the Cool” below.
The Emperors of Wyoming have a minimalist website.